admin install
Monday, July 18, 2005
  AdminStudio Assistant
this post takes a look at one of the changing design feature in AdminStudio 6.0. what i have seen in the industry, usually the entire workflow in this domain is done across different teams. there are different teams for repackaging, different teams for customizing/editing the msi, admins somewhere else to distribute the package. now this increases the tco of the complete process as it involves training on different tools that existed in releases prior to 6.0.
ntroduce the process assistant. it lets a single user walk through the entire process under one application umbrella. teams can still be distibuted, but all the work is now under one umbrella. the assistant leads you through the logical steps from repackaging to distribution. applications are still different, but they are knit together tightly by the assistant.

users can start by selecting an existing legacy setup.exe, and the assistant detects the best possible steps for you to follow to get a converted windows installer package. once you are past the package step, you are given a chance to customize your package (using InstallShield Editor) so that you can add your customizations in the msi package. once you have your baseline msi package ready, you can run it for conflicts against another set of windows installer packages using the ConflictSolver conflict wizard.further down the process chain, you can test your conflicts free package using InstallShield QualityMonitor, which is capable of running some tests on the deployed behaviour of the package and check for issues related to ClassID's ProgIDs etc. also in a team, you can add your own tests that can be tagged in with the package. once tested, the assistant launches distribution wizard, with your msi package as a parameter, allowing you to select one of the many distribution channels supported by Distribution Wizard.
Effect? All the processes which were once loosely coupled (if they were at all) are now tied together under one umbrella: the helpful assistant. the new start page of AdminStudio also keeps tracks of the application history including what steps they were in during last exit, and moves to that step when a file is selected.
more on InstallShield Repackager in next post.

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